Sports Authority’s name was missing from the Denver Broncos’ press room backdrop and podium Wednesday as players and team officials talked in ahead of the first day of training camp.
But Broncos president Joe Ellis had disappointing news for fans hoping Mile High Stadium will go on without a brand name attached to it.
“Sports Authority stays on the stadium for now and our hope we’re working with the district to try to come up with some ideas for a new partner,” Ellis said during the press conference. “We don’t have a real timetable on that, but hopefully at some point that will happen.”
Ellis said stadium upkeep is projected to cost up to $300 million over the next 30 years. He said the fees a naming sponsor will pay will help cover some of those costs.
“When you look at these stadiums and what they cost today to build, and what we’re facing in terms in maintaining it, upkeeping it and upgrading it moving forward.” Ellis said. “These funds for naming rights go a long way.”
A spokesman with the Broncos said the bankrupt Englewood-based retailer is no longer a team partner, hence its removal from the podium and backdrop.
The logo of UCHealth, which last summer signed a long-term agreement to sponsor the Broncos’ practice facility, now has the backdrop to itself — along with the Broncos logo, of course.
Sports Authority filed for bankruptcy in March, putting long-term deals to sponsor the Broncos and have its name on Mile High Stadium on shaky ground.
In June, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court allowed the team and Sports Authority to get out of a deal that made the retailer the exclusive “retail sporting goods” sponsor of the Broncos through 2035. About $36 million was owed.
Under the team sponsorship deal, Sports Authority had a non-exclusive license to use the Broncos logo on websites, advertising and in-store signs. It also included box seats and Super Bowl tickets.
But Sports Authority missed quarterly payments due Feb. 1 and May 1 totaling more than $2.1 million. On Friday, the Broncos filed a motion in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court asking to be paid about $1.1 million owed on the agreement for the 93 days between when the company filed for bankruptcy and the date it was allowed to get out of the deal.
The sponsorship contract is separate from the stadium naming rights. A Broncos spokesman said the team is continuing to explore options with the stadium district over the naming rights. Meanwhile, liquidator Hilco Streambank is looking for a company to take over the last five years of that agreement.
Source : denverpost.com